Five on Friday: Managing Freelancers, Using HARO, Cision Study and More

This week’s Five on Friday explores using HARO, Calls to Action, a Cison Study on journalists use of social media and Workfront measurements of

Five on Friday: Managing Freelancers

As the INSIDER Guide to New Product Development (NPD), I’m constantly keeping an eye out for bite-size information that will help you develop and scale better subscription products.  Here’s my “Five on Friday” compilation for March 4, featuring the five best trends, tips, quotes or stats from my reading this week.   

1. Use HARO to Find Topic Experts

HARO, short for “Help a Reporter Out” is a great tool for smaller publishers who need an expert’s perspective for a story.  It’s free for journalists (although your overall Alexa ranking must be one million or lower). Want to increase your own visibility as an expert?  Sign up using either the free or one of three paid-subscription options. 

2. DIY Call to Action (CTA) Tutorial

Driving new subscriptions through “Buy Now” CTA workflows is the lifeblood of any subscription business.  But can you create a good CTA on your own?  Worth a download is a good tutorial  from Hubspot. It includes step-by-step instructions for creating in Word, Powerpoint and (of course) Hubspot; types of offers to make on LinkedIn, Facebook and within videos and presentations.

3. Cision Study: More Journalists Using Social Media, but Not Using It More

Journalists use of Social Media

In a multi-country study of journalists’ use of social media that’s worth scanning, Cision reinforces the increasing importance of social media as a tool for journalists. 

That said, social media is still only one source of information for journalists, and the growth of its use is in the number of journalists, versus the time spent leveraging social media for work-related tasks.  As the chart here shows, the percent of journalists using social media has increased, but only up to two hours per day.  The percentage of journalists using social media beyond two hours a day has actually decreased

4. Reduce Rework to Reduce Costs

While this whitepaper from Workfront specifically measures marketing workflows, the data it shares lines up with a big frustration of most subscription businesses; namely, the cost of rework and rewrites necessary when managing freelancers.  The study asserts that 25-40% of spending on freelance projects is wasted as a result of rework. How can that waste be avoided?  Here are a couple ideas:

Specify what you mean.  While most subscriptions use similar workflow tools, style guides and editing terminology, the devil is in these details. Be sure to offer more rather than less direction. Does a short opinion piece mean 500 or 1,500 words? Does your publication follow Strunk and White or Chicago Manual of Style guidelines?

Remove the training wheelsCorrect with context and examples. “The tone of this piece is all wrong” won’t help your freelancer get it right.  In the beginning of a freelance/publication relationship, offer specific corrections and explain why the changes make sense for your publication.  For example; “gals,” “ladies” or “women” as a term to describe a group of females may all be completely appropriate – or not – depending on your audience. Your freelancer may see that without being told, but tell them if you have to.

Establish a step-down approval process.  Again, even the best freelancer needs a chance to get used to your unique style and editorial goals.  To help this happen smoothly, institute a tight approval process initially, while the writer adapts to your publication.  Over time -as little as possible – remove required approvals.  The investment of time will be worth the effort in the long term.

5. Apps are Winning the Digital Media Race

“In June [2015], mobile accounted for two out of every three minutes spent consuming digital media in the US, according to comScore data.”

BI Insider, Jan 2016


Have a great weekend, everyone.


Diane Pierson has deep experience in product management and marketing, having delivered results to companies including Dun & Bradstreet, LexisNexis, American Lawyer Media and Copyright Clearance Center. She has built products & services that have delivered over $100 million in revenue and knows what works, and what doesn’t, when executing product plans and strategies. She is also a contributor to Subscription Insider. (Read Diane’s full Bio)






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